B.Tech students from Eluru happy over completing formalities in an hour

It was a contrasting scene at the Passport Office here on Thursday, even as a few thousand fresh applicants from West Godavari district awaited for their turn in an orderly manner under the watchful eyes of the police.

Though the authorities had announced fresh dates district-wise for the ‘walk in’, some applicants from districts other than West Godavari stayed back in the city and converged at the Passport Office right in the early hours. This led to some jostling early in the morning, but after that it went on smoothly.

The police fixed boards showing the district-wise dates for applicants behind autorickshaws and went round the area trying to drive home the point that there was no use for applicants from other districts to wait outside the office. They used public address systems to appeal to applicants seeking their cooperation.

An agent pitched a tent close to the Passport Office and many applicants found it convenient to generate the mandatory Application Reference Number (ARN), getting instant colour pictures, and photocopies of their certificates. The police and passport officials and staff appeared relaxed and guided the passport-seekers to the respective counters. The applicants were allowed into the building in batches and work at the counters went on without any hitches. Assistant Passport Officer D. Srinivas was seen guiding the applicants.

S. Srikanth, P. Leela Murali, and Praveen, all B.Tech graduates from Eluru, were pleased that submission of their applications was completed by 1 p.m. They came around 6.30 a.m. and were given tokens at 8.30 a.m. after waiting under trees.

“We were called into the office around noon and the verification of certificates, scanning of data, payment of fee was completed in hardly an hour,” they said.

Notwithstanding the inconvenience caused to applicants due to poor planning, the passport officials should be given full credit for clearing over 1,800 fresh applications on a single day. The Passport Office earned a record Rs.28 lakh on a single day.

“We had accepted 1,876 applications yesterday. Around 80 additional applicants who were issued tokens yesterday had left due to some reasons. Their applications are being accepted, irrespective of the district. We issued 1,400 fresh tokens today and 600 applications have been processed by now (12.30 p.m.),” Passport Officer A.T. Murthy said.

He thanked Police Commissioner J. Purnachandra Rao for promptly responding to his plea and sending officers and men at short notice to deal with the unprecedented rush of applicants.

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